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Airports around the country are dealing with massive security lines, causing people to wait for hours and even miss flights on multiple occasions. Airlines have invested millions of dollars in hopes of speeding up the process for passengers, and while that may take some time, other process improvements may help reduce waits at another part of the airport.
This week, Star Alliance shared the details of a plan to implement further automation among all member airlines aimed at improving check-in procedures and the airport experience overall. The chief executive of the alliance, Mark Schwab, said that passengers on any Star Alliance carrier will soon be able to check-in on smartphones and utilize self-tagging features for bags, either at home or at an airport kiosk.
Several airlines in the alliance — and others like Alaska Airlines, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines — have various degrees of automation already in place. United and SAS have airport kiosks at select airports that allow passengers to print and attach a bag tag before dropping it at the baggage drop area. Lufthansa has a new feature called HomeTag through which passengers can print out a bag tag with their home printer and attach before departing for the airport. Air New Zealand is on the cutting edge of automated check-in processes, with its biometric bag drop stations at its Auckland hub. However, not all carriers in the alliance have implemented the same technology, leading to an inconsistent experience (that should improve soon).
Don’t forget that if you’re planning on checking a bag on your next trip, consider signing up for a credit card that waives checked baggage fees. Further, several cards offer an annual airline credit that can be used to wipe away any fees you rack up from checking bags.
Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.
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- Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
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